Being a full month removed from my last ministry placement, I recently met with my mentor to work through the assignment he gave me of processing what it means to let go and how to incorporate these processes into my life. I wanted to share some of my experiences from my last church and how I grew as a person. Here is what I wrote in my Moleskine (I share this exercise with you to be completely honest and transparent with you):
Letting go is always difficult, whether it from something positive or negative. But I feel it’s especially harder if it is a negative experience. It’s our human nature to want to lament about something that is, or has, “wronged” us. Here is how I have let go:
Prayer & Scripture – Throughout this past month, I have spent numerous hours in prayer and reading my Bible, and I have been able to refill my spiritual engines back up. One of the reasons this has been so important to letting go is that by the end of my time with my previous church, I was so spiritually drained, and was allowing them to rob me of the joy of serving God. I was more bitter and angry often, and since leaving, I have separated myself from that community while still being in the area. My joy and passion for serving God in his church has been restored through prayer and Scripture.
Personal Reading- In less than a months time, I have been able to read 9 books that have each impacted me differently in areas that I really needed to refill. Some of the books that impacted me the most were Sacred Rhythms, Too Busy Not to Pray, Crazy Love, & Nehemiah Factor. These books focused on silence, solitude, prayer, God’s everlasting, crazy love and missional leader characteristics. These books specifically spoke to my heart this past month in letting go. They all reminded me of the amazing power of God and why He has called me to passionately and enthusiastically serve Him for the rest of my life.
Repentance to God, Britt and Others- Towards the end of my time with my previous church, I became very frustrated and bitter about the direction of the church. I became bitter towards staff & the congregation, and through this I became prideful. Through my arrogance of thinking I was really doing God’s work. I lost track of why I serve Christ and became consumed with mock-filled gossip. I was not seeking to build up Christ or His church, but myself only. Realizing this during the past month, I have spent much time repenting to God, to my wife and to people around me about bring my frustrations home, bitterness home and gossip home. I now realize more than ever than whenever there is worry or frustrations there should be prayer.
Time Off- I have been privileged to have some time off to unwind and process everything to fully have peace in my heart so that I can honestly do what I said I would in praying for the ministry, families and youth that I left. I could not imagine having to dive right into another ministry, whether I were leaving a positive or negative experience. Being able to refill all of my cylinders has allowed me to realize again why I love serving Christ and showing others God’s love.
After this past month, I am so excited to get plugged into my next ministry to serve God and help bring people to Christ. Whether on staff or not, I am ready to bring passion for the Lord and showing Him through Christ-centered relationships and interactions to the church. Whatever area of ministry God has for me next, I am excited to serve Him. These past two years have plenty of up’s and down’s, but God has been preparing me this whole time for what He has next.